OttercubDCs Kinetics/Dark Defender Guide (v1.0)




OttercubDC’s Kinetics/Dark Defender Guide (v1.0)


I wrote this guide based on my experiences with my character, Midnight Lucky on the Freedom server. It was a wild and crazy journey to level 50 as a member of the Pinball Wizards, also teaming with other Repeat Offender network members.

Please note that because this is based on my experiences, so YMMV. Please take any notes contained herein as suggestions, not imperatives. I have had other experiences with Kinetics, which helped me make some mistakes that I learned from. But as a member of an all-Kinetics SG, so my experience with that powerset is substantial. You’ll see below why my preference has been this build. I can tell you that I’ve used every one of the primary and secondary Defender sets at one time or another with varying degrees of success. I won’t say that this is my favorite AT, bar none – I frequently find new excitement with different characters. But what I loved about this build is the versatility, and the remarkable freedom in power pool choices.

Also, you are going to find no numbers in this guide. I’m not a numbers-type player. If you’d like that kind of info, please look to Ladioss_Sopp’s excellent guide for specifics on Kinetics. Unfortunately most of the guides out there on Dark Blast don’t have numbers or are very outdated.

Lastly I’ll point out that this guide is currently compliant through I10. As new issues come out, I will do my best to update this guide if there are any significant power changes.


First of all, as I said in my other guide (for Emp/Sonic Defenders), I must I’m extremely opinionated. I’m not interested in playing a buffbot, nor am I willing to be a “h3al0r” on any team. I’m here to buff and blast. So come along for the ride!


Kinetics is a unique Defender set, in that it combines both traditional buffs (like Increase Density) and traditional debuffs (Repel), but is mostly made up of powers that debuff the enemy in order to buff you and your allies. You sap their energy and damage potential, allowing your team to be healed, recover endurance, and make mincemeat out of anything that stands in your path. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Dark Blast is a versatile set that provides you with two possible attack chains – one for single targets, and another for groups (in a cone). While some Defender secondaries are best at a distance (like Psychic Blast), Dark operates best at about mid-range. That meshes well with Kinetics, which is very much a melee set. Standing on the sidelines as a Kin is no fun at all!

The first challenge you’ll face as a Kin/Dark is endurance. Although you’ll be able to help your teammates with endurance early on, you can’t really help yourself until level 26. So be prepared to slot appropriately at the start of your career (EndRdx slots in attacks, and also in Siphon Power), and then you can respec out of all that later on.

The other tough part of being a Kin is the need to buff continually. Although it can be a little bit tedious, grab yourself a good guide to keybinds, and it will become second-nature. Just teach your team to pause for buffs every so often, and things will move like clockwork.

One other positive thing about playing a Kin/Dark? Not many people do, so you can be special! You’ll see a lot of Kin/Electric, Kin/Sonic and even Kin/Psy. But to choose Dark will set you apart. In a city full of heroes, carve your own identity!

But enough introduction, let’s get onto the powers themselves…


Transfusion (Level 1): Transfusion is a powerful AoE heal, but it is centered on an enemy. You target the enemy, and assuming you connect (there is a ToHit check), the heal will radiate from him. The challenges with this power? It has to hit and you have to hit the enemy while he is still standing. Don’t forget to get yourself within the heal radius if you need it! Technically this power creates the heal by draining endurance from the enemy, but the amount is very small. The more important side effect is that it reduces the enemy’s regeneration. That makes this power a huge bonus when facing AVs, Monsters and other tough to take down baddies.

Recommended enhancements: You can get by with slotting 1 Accuracy, and 3 Heal. Early on you might want a slot of Endurance Reduction (EndRdx).

Siphon Power (Level 1): This is your first big chance to sap something off an enemy to benefit you and your team. Target an enemy, and if you connect, you and those allies around you gain a 25% damage increase (the enemy loses that amount).

Recommended enhancements: 1 Acc is fine, but I also like 1 EndRdx because it’s a bit costly. A slot of Recharge can also be nice early on when you use this power a lot.

Commentary: At level 1, you have the choice between these two powers. Honestly, you should have both. So take your pick, and then just pick up the other one at level 2 or 4. If you’re starting your career against tough baddies (i.e. a sewer run), you will probably want Transfusion first. If you plan to start solo, go with Siphon Power.

Also note that Siphon Power has a really good range, so it’s a great pulling tool. (Siphon Speed is about the same, but pulling by slowing an enemy isn’t really a great idea.)

Repel (Level 2): This toggle power will violently repel enemies that approach you and send them flying. You lose additional endurance for every enemy repelled.

Recommended enhancements: What this needs most is EndRdx – 2 or 3 slots.

Commentary: This is the only power that I ended up not taking in my final build. It’s very situational – how often would a character that operates in melee want to send the enemies away? The two obvious uses are as a panic button (it’s like a personal force field for melee attacks), or if you’re in a PvP area. Personal preference, but I think this one is easy to skip.

Siphon Speed (Level 6): Target an enemy, and if you connect, you’ll be able to run fast! But more importantly, you increase your recharge rate, and slow your enemy.

Recommended enhancements: Start with 1 Acc. If you have room later, you can add slots of Slow (up to 3). Those slots will increase the debuff, but also increase your run speed.

Commentary: The reasons to take this power – it’s like having Hasten (to increase your recharge), and at a very early level you have a built-in travel power like Super Speed. Reasons not to take this power…nope, can’t think of any.

Increase Density (Level 8): This is a status effect negation/resistance power. It grants an ally some protection from Knockback, Disorient, Hold and Immobilization effects. It also gives your ally moderate (25%) resistance to Smashing and Lethal damage.

Recommended enhancements: 3 Resist Damage

Commentary: There are great benefits to using this power – your teammates will really appreciate it. Unfortunately, the recharge is a bit slow, and the duration is very short (about a minute). So I have found that you shouldn’t bother trying to ID every team member every time you stop to buff, unless you’re on a small team. Save it for the times you really need it (e.g. facing an AV, dealing with high-mez enemies, etc.). Also use it as a reactive release to free a teammate who is stunned or held.

The other challenge is that this power comes far sooner than you realistically need it. Although you’ll face an occasional mezzer in early levels, it’s not until your high teens or early 20s that it becomes commonplace. I think you can easily put this power off until level 16.

Speed Boost (Level 12): This is a powerful single-target ally buff. The beneficiary receives a big boost to both her endurance recovery and recharge rate. There is a side effect of increased run speed. The duration is about 2 minutes.

Recommended enhancements: 3 Endurance Modification

Commentary: Nirvana. This power is (IMHO), the primary reason to play Kinetics. It’s a tremendous buff that solves the most common problem players face in the game – not enough endurance. It’s like Stamina in a can.

Now there are some whiners out there (mostly melee fighters) who hate it because of the run speed thing. Frankly, I say, “Get over it!” Skipping people in my buff cycle is a pain.

With the duration on this power, I find you can make it through 2 full battles before needing to reapply.

Inertial Reduction (Level 18): A PBAoE power that grants Super Jump-like capability to yourself and anyone around you.

Recommended enhancements: 1-3 Jump

Commentary: Taking this power allows you a second mode of travel, and is another opportunity to skip a power pool. But there is certainly a valid argument for doing the Leaping pool instead (Acrobatics), so it’s personal preference. Not a must-have power, but I love it.

The recharge is just right – the power will recycle as it wears off.

Transference (Level 26): This power operates just like Transfusion, except the endurance drain debuff is substantial, and instead of a heal, it provides endurance to any teammate nearby, including yourself.

Recommended enhancements: 1-2 Acc, 2-3 Rech (the endurance buff is so large that End Mod slots are just overkill)

Commentary: This is where things get much easier for you. Now you have a way to recover your lost endurance! In fact, once you have this power, you can set off on your own to solo missions with relative ease (just watch out for mezzers).

As with Transfusion, you may have to be educating your team that the safest/best place to be in a battle with you around is right in the thick of it. From there, you’ll be providing them with both endurance and hit points. Feel the love.

Fulcrum Shift (Level 32): Turn the tide of battle as you transfer power (just as you did with Siphon Power) from multiple enemies at once, and receive all of that in return for you and nearby allies. You also radiate a moderate damage buff from yourself (50%) that benefits you and those around you.

Recommended enhancements: 2 Acc, 2-3 Rech

Commentary: This is the super-amazing-fantastic buff that makes teammates drool. Everyone rushes in, you activate this power and (assuming you hit, which you will nearly every time), suddenly the whole team is approaching their respective damage caps. The enemy is mincemeat. You laugh. Your team carries you on their shoulders and cheers. Woot!

The recharge on this power is OK, but slotting for it will help make this available every fight. Make sure you are targeting an enemy roughly between the middle of an enemy group and you. That should give you the maximum potential to get buffs. It will take some getting used to at first, but with time you’ll get the hang of where to position yourself.

Also note that because the single buff from you is twice that of Siphon Power, you might as well use FS every time. Deciding to respec out of Siphon is common, but I still like to keep it for pulling and having an extra buff.


Dark Blast (Level 1): A minor damage Negative Energy ranged attack. There is a slight debuff to the target’s accuracy.

Recommended enhancements: As with most blast powers that you use often, you want 1 Accuracy, and then fill in 3 Damage slots when you can. You can add a slot of Recharge or Endurance Reduction if desired.

Commentary: You have to take this power, and it’s decent. The recharge is swift, and the range is good. Keep in mind that –Acc debuff, and use the power on various enemies to spread the debuff around.

Gloom (Level 2): This is a moderate damage blast that does quick damage over time, but is otherwise like Dark Blast.

Recommended enhancements: Same as for Dark Blast.

Commentary: I think Gloom is important (especially early on) to make a decent single-target attack chain. The DoT is isn’t too slow. DB and Gloom will be quite handy to have for a long time.

Moonbeam (Level 4): A very long range high damage attack that debuffs accuracy.

Recommended enhancements: 1 Acc, 1 Interrupt Reduction, 3 Dmg.

Commentary: Although I think that snipe powers have their place (and this one has the longest range of them all, so it’s even better), I don’t see this fitting into a Kin/Dark build. The problem is you’re spending your time in melee range, so a long distance interruptible power isn’t a good choice. I say skip it.

Dark Pit (Level 10): An AoE stun power (with a ToHit check). Fired from a distance.

Recommended enhancements: There are lots of ways to slot this, using a combination of Acc, Rech and Disorient. I prefer 2 of each.

Commentary: Although some people aren’t fond of this power, I think it works beautifully for a Kin/Dark. It makes a good opening power (or second choice after Fulcrum Shift) to keep your enemies from hitting you. They stagger around in a daze (and you can negate the stagger soon enough), leaving you free to blast away. You won’t be able to stun bosses right away, but there are ways to potentially stack the stun (from ancillary/pool powers or IOs).

Tenebrous Tentacles (Level 16): A cone attack that immobilizes foes in tendrils of dark energy, which cause minor immediate Negative damage followed by damage over time. Debuffs accuracy.

Recommended enhancements: 2 Acc, 3 Dmg, possibly 1 Immobilize.

Commentary: This is part one of your cone attack chain. It may seem odd to think of an immobilize power as damage potential, but with all of the buffs you’ll be giving yourself to damage, that minor damage becomes substantial. And as mentioned above, it’s a great way to keep dazed enemies from wandering after you throw in Dark Pit. A great power that is a must-have.

Night Fall (Level 20): A moderate damage cone attack that debuffs accuracy.

Recommended enhancements: 2 Acc, 3 Dmg.

Commentary: And this is part two of your cone attack chain. You can easily cycle back and forth between TT and NF. It’s a very potent combination, and the hallmark of the Dark Blast set. Once you have Fulcrum Shift, you’ll be amazed what you can do!

Note that the range on both TT and NF is a bit short, but that works well, because you’re already in melee range. The tough part will be finding the best place to position yourself, but with practice you’ll find the sweet spot.

Torrent (Level 28): This cone attack has very minor damage and an accuracy debuff, but a very potent knockback push.

Recommended enhancements: 1-2 Acc

Commentary: As with Moonbeam, this is a type of power that has its place, but not really in a Kin/Dark build. Pushing enemies away (as with Repel) isn’t what you want to happen. That being said, there can be value in using this power as a positioning tool if you’re facing a group that is scattered around. It also can make a nice panic button. A skippable power, IMO.

Life Drain (Level 35): A single-target moderate damage attack that transfers life force (hit points) from the enemy to you. Debuffs accuracy.

Recommended enhancements: 1 Accuracy, 2-3 Damage, 2-3 Heal

Commentary: This will round out a full single-target attack chain for you, in conjunction with DB and Gloom. It’s also a very easy way to heal yourself, far more reliable in combat than Aid Self. You’ll have to decide if you want to slot this primarily for the damage or the heal, and assign 3 slots accordingly.

Blackstar (Level 38): The nuke – an extreme Negative Energy PBAoE attack. Anyone left standing after the power goes off will suffer a severe accuracy debuff. This drains you of all endurance for some time, and will shut down all your toggled powers.

Recommended enhancements: 3 Damage, 3 Recharge. If you find you use this less often, swap a Recharge with a slot of ToHit Debuff. This is a good place to use Hamidon enhancements so you can just enhance everything.

Commentary: Although a nuke is very situational, I think that with a set like Kinetics, it is far more worthwhile. The key to having a nuke is knowing when to use it. You do not pull this out when wading into a group of 3 minions – wait until you’re in a good-sized group of 8 or more. Use this just after you have fired off Fulcrum Shift for maximum effect. Also makes a nice “polish off the leftovers maneuver.”

Another key point is inspirations. I NEVER use this power unless I have a blue in my inventory or I’m teaming with a fellow Kin. Because then all you have to do is pop that blue pill, target an enemy that’s still standing, hit Transference and you’re back to normal. You want to be back in the game immediately, ready to buff/heal/blast if needed. As soon as you see that your team is in shape, you can turn your toggles back on. And although the timing is tricky, if a Kin teammate hits Transference just as you’re hitting Blackstar, you can potentially not see a change in your endurance bar, and your toggles will stay up. It’s hard to do, but definitely possible.

And don’t forget the power of multiple nukes – even against a group that’s +3 or 4, two or three nukes used in succession should wipe out everything.

Blackstar is also popular because it doesn’t scatter any survivors, or cause them to stagger. They just stay put in a state where they can scarcely hit you. Lock and load your single-target blasts and take them out. It’s a beautiful thing.


This is a brief discussion of the various power pools, and my thoughts on their viability with a Kinetics/Dark build. Most of these I would say are going to be based on your personal preference, play style, and character concept. As you’ll see below, there are a few powers that I think are must-haves. Beyond that, the choice is up to you.

I’m sure if you’re reading this guide you’re familiar by now with when you can select these powers, but just in case… You can select your first pool power at level 6. You can take the third power in a set only if you have one of the first two, and you can pick that up at level 14. You can take the last power in a set only if you have any two of the first three powers, and you can pick that up at level 22. Ultimately you can select powers from up to four different pools.


This is a pool that can have a couple different uses. If you need to sneak into places or situations, take Stealth. You could also take Grant Invisibility as yet another buff for your teammates – I’ve found this to be a great support power to have in my arsenal (but watch out, it’s got a high endurance cost). I’d say to skip Invisibility – if you want that, take Stealth + Super Speed. Phase Shift is very situational, and was nerfed recently – skip it unless you plan to PvP.


I just don’t see this pool as necessary for a Kin. The marginal benefit you get from Tough and Weave doesn’t justify having to take a small melee attack first. Still, you will have powers to burn in your final build, so it’s a thought.


To Stamina or not – the eternal question. I have been able to survive without it for 50 levels, and only felt the pinch when soloing before level 26. But keep in mind that I also team regularly with Empaths and Kineticists, and use an ancillary power for further endurance recovery. So in general I recommend taking Stamina to start (and whichever 2 prerequisites you prefer), and then dropping it in a respect after you get Transference.


Fly is the slowest power, but it’s also the safest. If you’re content with the fact that you’ll always be the last one to arrive at a mission, then it’s no big deal. You don’t really need the extra travel power (since you have access to Siphon Speed and Inertial Reduction), but you may just prefer it. If you go with it, 3 slots for Flight Speed will be best.

For the first power, Hover can be valuable, especially to give you knockback protection (and with Siphon Speed you can make it a decent movement power in combat). Air Superiority always makes a nice melee power to throw in your build.

Group Fly is something that can be useful, but tends to be best late in the game for Hamidon raids or traversing the Shadow Shard. If you want it, save it for level 47 or 49.


I’m a firm believer that this is a must-have pool for a Kin for the simple reason that the majority of your powers rely on accuracy, making Tactics essential.

The first power you choose is marginal either way. You can pick a small damage boost with Assault or a small defense bonus with Maneuvers. Either way, don’t waste more than the default slot for Endurance Reduction. I prefer Maneuvers, because you get plenty of damage buffs already.

After that, you must take Tactics! Everyone will love having this buff to help them reach towards that Accuracy cap. Slot it 1 Endurance Reduction, 3 ToHit.

And finally Vengeance – one of my favorite powers. Let’s face it, someone is going to hit the pavement. It could be a mob on patrol, it might be an AV that you didn’t see around the corner, or you perhaps you just have a dumb teammate. When someone gets 1 or 2-shotted, you will swoop in to rez them. But just before you do, fire off Vengeance. Suddenly the tide of battle turns in your favor! This is a potent buff to Defense, Accuracy and Damage, with a small AoE Heal as well. Slot this power with 3 Defense, and add other slots (Heal and/or ToHit) if you have room.


Super Jump is faster than Fly, but you run the risk of leaping onto a mob of purple bad guys. So if you go this route, travel carefully! And remember that you get virtually the same power with Inertial Reduction. But the argument for going this route is to build up to Acrobatics for the knockback protection. (Personally I’d rather just take Hover.)

Don’t bother with Jump Kick – it’s a long animation melee attack. If you go this line, take Combat Jumping, and fill the default slot with Defense.

As the final power, Acrobatics which helps prevent knockback and holds. A great thing to have later in the game.


This pool is a waste for Kinetics, as you have a duplicate (and uninterruptible) versions of most of these powers in your primary set. (Transfusion and Increase Density). If you’re anxious to be able to resurrect your teammates, buy some Awakens.


Quite simply, this pool isn’t really of value at all to you. These powers are mimics of a Tanker’s taunt powers or a Dark hero’s fear powers. Goading enemies into attacking your squishy self is generally not a good idea. But if you really want to access those fear powers, go for it.


First of all there is a redundant power choice here for a Kin – Hasten. You get the same benefit using Siphon Speed. Although you could argue that the additional boost to your recharge rate is worth it so you can save on slots elsewhere. Personally I felt like it would be a waste.

Flurry is another lame melee attack power, so…moving on.

Super Speed is again redundant with Siphon Speed.

Whirlwind isn’t really worth it for you – it drains endurance like crazy. And knocks everything around, which is the opposite of what you want to happen. Skip it.


First there is Recall Friend, which is always valued on a team. I like having both this and Vengeance to use together.

Teleport Foe is actually a great power, but I think it isn’t really a match for this build. It can be used as a pulling technique but you have a better option with Siphon Power. It’s also a very common power to use in PvP situations (often unjustly).

Teleport is ultimately the fastest travel power – but it’s tricky to master. If you do take it, I highly recommend adding Hover, which makes the travel safe. If you want to go beyond your built in travel powers, I think this is the best route. (Also handy to TP into a group for using Fulcrum Shift.)

Team Teleport might have value for you, again to TP the whole group in for FS goodness. It’s a technique I haven’t tried on a Kin, but it’s worth exploring.


At level 41 you can begin adding powers from one of these “epic” pools. You should certainly go with one of them. My suggestions are below:

Dark Mastery:

This was the pool I ultimately chose for my build, out of character concept and also because the melee nature of these powers meshed well with being a Kin. It has four very good powers. Dark Consumption is a PBAoE attack that fills your endurance bar – you really don’t need this because of Transference, but could choose to take it as a damage power (slot accordingly). And of course you should take Dark Embrace as your shield (which offers moderate resistance to Smashing, Lethal, Negative and Toxic damage).

Oppressive Gloom is a PBAoE toggle that disorients which obviously works great with Dark Pit and the fact that you’re in melee range – I highly recommend it for helping to stun bosses.

Soul Drain increases your Accuracy and Damage which aren’t things you’re in desperate need of. But slotted for damage, it makes an excellent PBAoE attack, great for using just after you hit Fulcrum Shift.

Electric Mastery:

Electric Fence is an underwhelming single-target immobilize. Thunder Strike is a high-damage melee attack which causes knockback and disorient (fun to watch). Remember that you could stack the disorient with Dark Pit, so this is a good choice.

Charged Armor is the shield, which offers moderate resistance to Smashing, Lethal and Energy damage. Power Sink is really great as a PBAoE endurance drain. (Not that you need the endurance boost, but it’s still helpful to take out minions’ abilities.)

Power Mastery:

Conserve Power is a fine choice as it reduces the endurance you use for a short time. Power Buildup is the must-have in this set, as the effectiveness of all your heals, slows, stuns and other side effects will be doubled.

The shield is Temporary Invulnerability – although it only resists Smashing and Lethal damage, it has a much higher resistance percentage. Total Focus is an extreme melee attack that causes knockback and disorient. Again – stacks with Dark Pit, can’t beat it.

Psychic Mastery:

Dominate is a great single-target hold power – and what Defender didn’t wish he had a hold? Mass Hypnosis could be very attractive as a method of putting a group to sleep before you rush in for Fulcrum Shift.

Mind Over Body is probably the most popular shield for Defenders, because it offers not just resistance to Smashing and Lethal damage, but also Psionic. Telekinesis is a tricky power to master – it holds an enemy and then turns them into a repel toy, but it’s certainly easier to use as a tool than Repel.


What follows are a few helpful tips and techniques I have found in playing this build. There isn’t much synergy between your two powersets, but knowing what to use when is important. Of course YMMV, particularly based on the enemies you’re facing, if you’re low on endurance, etc.

1. Leading the Alpha Strike

As a Kineticist, assuming you have the proper support (i.e. some defense buffs, a Tank to grab aggro, etc.), then you can head right in and nuke.

First, be clear with your team that you’re going to nuke. Unless you are teaming with a fellow Kin, have a blue pill on the ready. Target an enemy in the middle of the group and hit Fulcrum Shift. If someone can subdue the group first with a sleep power like Mass Hypnosis that will make things safer for you. Grant Invisibility works, too.

Immediately after FS, hit Blackstar – don’t hesitate, or your face could hit the floor. Pop that blue pill, target any enemy near you still standing, and hit Transference. Help your team pick off any stragglers with DB and Gloom. And finally, turn back on your toggles when the dust settles or once everything is under control.

Note that if another teammate is going to nuke instead, you really just follow the same procedure, except you won’t hit Blackstar and you won’t need your blue pill. Make sure the enemy you target for Transference is nearest your teammate who has now been drained of endurance.

2. Basic Teaming

In an average team situation, follow this basic gameplan, and you’ll be golden.

Pre-battle, pass out SB to your team (you should only have to do this every other battle). When needed, apply ID. (If a teammate is taking the alpha strike alone, they definitely need this.)

Charge into the fray, and get to a place just the center edge of the enemy group. Target an enemy in the middle and hit Fulcrum Shift. Then alternate between TT and NF. Apply Transfusion as needed. Throw in Dark Pit when you can to keep things safe.

It’s as easy as that! You honestly will be providing an invaluable service to your team. Endurance recovery ahead of time, a big damage buff, immobilization, damage, and disorients. That’s a really potent combination.

Note that you may have to jump back a bit from the enemy group to get your best setup for the 2 cone powers. With practice you’ll figure out just where you need to be. And once you’ve got them immobilized, you can just stay put!

3. Pool and epic powers

As I’ve recommended above, you are usually only running a couple toggles (Leadership buffs). With one slot of Endurance Reduction in each, you’ll probably be OK. But for long travel or recovery periods, shut them off. Protective toggles like Combat Jumping or Tough and Weave also fall in this category. And a note about Sprint – you’d be surprised what an endurance drain it can be when you’re not paying attention. Keep it off unless you’re on a team where recovery buffs are plentiful. (Or slot EndRdx instead of Run Speed in Sprint.)

For your epic shield, keep it on for the duration of a mission if it provides protection against the damage your facing (which means you should know your enemy). So if you’re up against a bunch of CoT Behemoths (who use Fire damage), Temporary Invulnerability isn’t going to help much (but it’s a must when you’re facing Warriors).

If you have an epic endurance recovery power, use it for when Transference misses. Two of them (Dark Consumption and Power Sink) generate some aggro, so make sure the situation is in control first. It can also be a post-nuke strategy, although you’ll obviously need to pop at least one blue pill to activate it.

Should you choose to have Grant Invisibility, think of it as any other preventative buff. (Although there are certainly situations where you’re using it strictly for the –Perception aspect.) GI isn’t as helpful nowadays as it once was, but it can certainly make things safer for someone running into nuke.


Due to the ability to provide speed, leaping and endurance recovery, your Kin is highly desirable as a teammate in PvP, and one of the first targets as well. Although I’m really just a novice with PvP, I wanted to summarize a few key ideas here.

Soloing in PvP can be very difficult, and isn’t encouraged. Your self-buffs require a ToHit check, which can be tough when facing players that almost certainly have some type of Defense running. Team up with other Defenders (or Controllers) and you can be a real machine.

On the flip side you can be the ultimate support teammate. Debuff your enemies’ speed, recharge rate, damage, endurance and regeneration with your primary powerset, and kill their accuracy with your secondary.

As for build strategies, look to your power pools first. You already have the option to travel with Inertial Reduction, which is great for PvP, although if it wears off and you are short on endurance, that’s bad news. The Leaping pool is the king of travel powers in PvP – Combat Jumping will protect you from immobilizes, and Acrobatics from knockback. Next you’ll want to consider the Concealment pool – either running Stealth (and Invisibility if you can) or being on a team that all uses Grant Invisibility. Phase Shift will save you in a tight spot. Leadership powers are also a big bonus – you’ll want Tactics to see those Stalkers who are creeping up on you!

For your primary, you need most of the same powers you do in PvE. Siphon Speed will be one of your best assets, but don’t underestimate Transfusion and Transference (especially if you have plenty of Tactics on your team). And of course you’ll want to Siphon Power and Fulcrum Shift for ages. (I think SP will be faster and easier to use when facing a single enemy.) Since buffs are often applied on the fly in PvP, you could consider slotting Range into SB and ID.

As for the Dark powers, the emphasis in PvP is often on single-target attacks. So Dark Blast, Gloom and Life Drain are a must. But immobilizes can be effective if an enemy’s toggles drop, so keep TT. And of course you can use Dark Pit to stack disorients with your teammates or your own ancillary pool powers. And don’t forget what I said about Repel – knocking back any players who skipped Acrobatics is always fun. But Torrent will work even better, as it has the added accuracy debuff!


The life of a Kin/Dark is fast-paced and exciting. Once your team understands how you operate, they will fall in love with all of the amazing buffs and debuffs you provide. With time you’ll impress even yourself with the powers at your command. In fact, you find you crave the multiplicative power of teaming with other Kins! And when you do, look up the Pinball Wizards™.

I just hope you enjoy playing this combination as much as I have. I liked being a little bit different as one of the only people in my SG to pick Dark as a secondary and stick with it for 50 levels. Once on a team my colleague commented, “Wow, that’s probably the best synergy between Kin and Dark I’ve ever seen.” That’s the kind of praise you take to the bank.

All feedback is welcome and appreciated. I will be attempting to keep this guide revised as new game updates are released. Also feel free to PM me with questions, or let me know if you want to see any of these techniques in action.


Since this was in some ways a celebration of my character reaching level 50, I wanted to take a brief moment to say thank you to the folks have helped me on the long journey, and I want to thank them publicly.

My thanks go out to all my friends in the Repeat Offenders coalition who helped me along the way. You gave me such pride in being a Defender, and I treasure every chance I get to play alongside you. I’ve spent all 50 levels on Midnight Lucky playing with RO teams (mostly Pinball Wizard teams), and there’s nothing better. For all those nights of buffs, blasting and laughs, I am so very grateful.



That was totally awesome.

I am now rolling a Kin/Dark Defender. I had the intention to before, but now I will for sure!



I currently have a 42nd lvl Kin/Dark defender, I love it. I read this guide and used it to help me create mine. Just a powerhouse and a blast to play. Whether solo or team, but I have Kin not hard to find a team....



Glad to hear you're having fun like I did, Uris!

Next time I'm on one of my Triumph characters, I'll definitely be looking up a friendly Kin.



First of all there is a redundant power choice here for a Kin – Hasten. You get the same benefit using Siphon Speed. Although you could argue that the additional boost to your recharge rate is worth it so you can save on slots elsewhere. Personally I felt like it would be a waste.

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Target an enemy, and if you connect, you’ll be able to run fast! But more importantly, you increase your recharge rate, and slow your enemy.

Recommended enhancements: Start with 1 Acc. If you have room later, you can add slots of Slow (up to 3). Those slots will increase the debuff, but also increase your run speed.

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Three problems with these statements:

1) If you're going to stack Siph speeds to make up for hasten, slot them with recharge reducers. Being able to keep two siph speeds up at once is equal to 1.5x the average +recharge of hasten. I suggest 1 acc, 3 recharge as a base. I'd even add the second as a base, since your secondary is /dark.

2) Hasten is not redundant. Anything that increases the recharge rate of transfusion, transference, and fulcrum shift is a winner. You don't even need a foe or a tohit check, meaning that it's one less thing to be frantic about when playing a kin.

3) A lot of your strategy depends on being near a foe that you can hit. With dark lacking -def and any +tohit powers, this makes this more of a liability should you face off against +3 or +4 foes. I know these powers get inherent acc bonuses, but in a pinch, it's better to have powers that boost runspeed and recharge independent of foe presence.

Additionally, unless you can keep ID on people at all time (which is surprisingly harder than it seems int he thick of it, and really frustrating on a full team), the slots are put to better use in other powers.

Aside from this, it's not a bad writeup. Keep working at it.